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HealthTech innovation in action

I recently learned about an IoT device from a Florida-based HealthTech company, Think Anew – a team on the forefront of healthcare innovation. Think Anew’s BOOMBOX device empowers nursing home and long-term care staff to prepare for and recover from floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

Don Glidewell, CEO of Think Anew, and his team of tech-for-good advocates, including Stacey Yoakum, Vice President of Health Informatics, focus on disaster preparedness, resilience, and response within the healthcare industry.

Panama City, Florida was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Michael last October. The St. Andrews Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was one of many facilities that were impacted by lack of connectivity, water, and electricity. With 70 percent of communications down in the panhandle, its staff lost access to clinical records and vital operational software. St. Andrews Bay staff partnered with the Think Anew team to deploy its Multi-Link CarrierSat and micro-grid enabled IoT device, BOOMBOX, by providing access to the Center’s sensitive data and productivity tools.

St. Andrews Bay was the only location in the area with a working internet connection, which allowed staff to accurately disburse vital medication to its residents, maintain its strict data privacy protocols, manage electronic records, and handle Medicare billing while other facilities relocated residents to alternate locations. Technology served as the lifeline to ensure the safety of nearly 100 elderly residents.

“The horrid conditions left by Hurricane Michael created significant challenges for many Florida residents, but none more so than seniors in skilled care facilities going without everyday necessities and at risk for medical care issues due to the lack of communications”, said Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley, who sits on the State of Florida Senate Healthcare Committee.

Tech leaders like Glidewell rely on passion and personal stories. Glidewell’s superpower is empowering those who serve, which stemmed from his mother’s lifelong career as a caregiver in a nursing home. His understanding of the struggles of long-term care staff comes from his mother’s experience. As a first responder during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Glidewell recognized the significant pressure that nurses were under to keep patients safe and medicated accurately, all while maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy.

With sensitive data now frequently stored in the cloud, the struggles that St. Andrews experienced during the hurricane is a problem that other facilities will face during natural disasters.

The tech used to support relief teams during and after a disaster must be scalable, resilient, and secure. Seconds count and quick action saves lives. It’s not enough to respond to a disaster; healthcare facilities need to be prepared before disasters occur, including malicious attempts to exploit the situation.

IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services can help you with IoT innovations that withstand the rigors of disaster, thus allowing disaster response and recovery developers and data scientists like you to build secure cloud applications by using a portfolio of cloud services powered by IBM LinuxONE.

Are you interested in addressing natural disasters through technology? IBM is a founding partner in Call for Code, a global coding competition that asks software developers, data scientists, and technologists to build sustainable solutions that address natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

With submissions now open, Call for Code 2019 is asking you to accept the challenge to innovate like Don Gladwell. This year’s challenge is specifically focused on healthcare, access to medical health records, the vulnerable, and more. Read about the focus from the CTO’s letter to developers.

Extreme weather is here to stay and the time for innovation is at an all time high. What will you create? For more information, visit